April 24, 2020 Moonshine Minutes
Part 1: Alex
As we continue trudging through the reality of the novel coronavirus pandemic, Moonshine Ink is reporting regularly on how the disease is affecting the North Tahoe/Truckee region, but we’re also here to share how the community is thriving in its goodness.
I’m Alex Hoeft, news reporter for Moonshine, talking you through the latest Moonshine Minutes with a small sampling of the ways Tahoe residents have come together to lend a helping hand in this time of uncertainty.
First, social media. As stay-at-home mandates began to go into effect in March, forcing the closure of businesses of all types, countless people turned to the regional Facebook group Truckee Tahoe People to ask how they could help others in need.
Former TTP administrator Amie Quirarte took note and found a way to connect all of the folks looking to help out, working under the umbrella of Truckee Tahoe People’s 501(c)(3) nonprofit extension: Emergency Relief – Tahoe/Truckee Covid-19 on Facebook.
People have volunteered their time through shopping for and delivering groceries, donating money, and ordering material for goody bags. When we spoke with Quirarte, the group so far had delivered 100 bags to hospital workers, 65 to senior citizens, and another 100 to grocery store workers. In one single day, the nonprofit paid rent for six families in need, delivered groceries to four different families, and gave the Boys and Girls Club of North Lake Tahoe money to serve curbside dinners.
Quirarte told Moonshine, “I am absolutely blown away by the community and their willingness to rise to the occasion. I have witnessed so much selflessness, genuine compassion, and true love for absolute strangers. Although it feels like my heart is breaking on a daily basis [for those in need], watching our group brings it back to fullness.”
Part 2: Becca
For those of you concerned about putting food on the table for the humans in the household, you might also have some concern for feeding your furry housemates.
I’m Becca Loux, reporter and editor for the Ink.
The Humane Society of Truckee-Tahoe’s Pet Pantry exists for this very reason, and the shelter has now partnered with the Boys and Girls Club of North Lake Tahoe to distribute pet food to families enrolled in their assistance program.
In times of financial crisis, pet surrender rates often shoot up when people are faced with the choice of feeding themselves or their pets. The Humane Society and Town of Truckee Animal Services want to keep as many pets in homes as possible during these uncertain times.
Erin Ellis, director of community engagement with the humane society, told us: “In our animal-loving area, the decision to rehome a pet is heartbreaking and sad. HSTT is here to help pet owners through that selfless process by providing medical care, healthy food, and a safe, warm place to live for every pet that comes our way.”
If you are experiencing financial hardship, drop by the Truckee Animal Shelter or the South Lake Tahoe location to pick up free pet food. On May 5, you can help raise funds for HSTT as part of an emergency Giving Tuesday, at which time the shelter will have $20,000 in matching funds available and everyone who makes a $150 tax-deductible contribution will be entered to win a $500 VISA gift card.
Old Trestle Distillery is also lending a helping hand … a very, very sanitized one.
Since the effects of the novel coronavirus started to creep across the country, Old Trestle has halted production of its signature gin, vodka, and whiskey, and all efforts have focused on whipping up batches of free hand sanitizer for anyone in the community.
Old Trestle’s sanitizer is made with the purest form of ingredients, starting with neutral grain spirit, which is the base for the distillery’s spirits. At 96% alcohol, 193 proof, it’s as clean and pure as you can get with no additives.
Master distiller Jake Holshue said: “This isn’t hillbilly moonshine. It also contains glycerin, which helps the skin, and hydrogen peroxide, which denatures bacteria and viruses … We have the scientific equipment to scientifically measure the percentage of alcohol, which most people don’t have at home. This is kind of in our wheelhouse.”
Part 3: Alex
Face masks have also been a hot commodity, and as word spread about shortages of medical supplies far and wide, seamstresses the world over took to social media to find out who was in need of masks, sharing patterns, searching for materials, and recruiting others to start churning out homemade face protection.
And while they might not be medical grade, the Centers for Disease Control issued guidelines for those looking to get to work making them.
“Spread the word, not the virus. Cover your face,” is the slogan of Seamstresses for Safety, a Facebook page started by Incline Village resident Toree Warfield. Word of her mission has indeed spread, with people who post online queries seeking masks being referred to Warfield.
While Warfield is donating her time to make masks for those in need, she says a $5 donation is helpful to offset the cost of materials. And now that the CDC has reversed its course and is recommending everyone wear a mask — medical grade or otherwise — whenever they go out, Warfield could use a few more hands at work. Those seeking masks or wanting to help out, she said, can reach her via the Seamstresses for Safety Facebook page or directly at (775) 772-9452.
As for other necessary medical equipment, Tahoe Sports Hub is collecting old ski goggles as part of the Goggles for Docs movement — more personal protective equipment to protect against the coronavirus. Donations can be dropped off at a bin in front of the West River Street store between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m.
As you can see, Tahoe is thriving in kindness these days — and these are only a few of the examples. Read the full article, Helping Hands, at moonshineink.com.
That’s all for now. Make sure you keep up with the latest local news, both COVID-19-related and not, by picking up our latest print edition, in a Moon box near you and visiting moonshinkink.com for extra stories you won’t find in print.